On Friday’s NewsHour…

BY Maureen Hoch  December 25, 2009 at 6:10 PM EDT

Here’s what’s coming up on the PBS NewsHour on this Christmas Day…

HOLIDAY WRAP: Millions around the world celebrated the Christmas holiday even as blizzards disrupted travel in the central U.S. And amid the traditional festivities and religious observances, questions continued about the pope’s security after a woman lunged at the pontiff during a Christmas Eve Mass. Jeffrey Brown recaps the day.

CHINESE DISSIDENT: Today also brought news of the sentencing of one of China’s most prominent dissidents. Liu Xiaobo is beginning an 11-year prison term after being convicted of the crime of “subversion.” Margaret Warner will talk to two experts about the meaning of today’s conviction on legal reform and other issues in China.

CALIFORNIA PENSIONS: In a weak economy, many states, cities and towns may be facing billions of dollars in pension liabilities that are currently underfunded. Spencer Michels reports from California on how that state’s leaders are handling the problem.

SHIELDS AND BROOKS: As usual, we have the analysis of syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks this Friday. They will weigh the politics of health reform and President Obama’s first year in office, among other topics.

D.C. SCHOOLS: We continue our look back at John Merrow’s series chronicling efforts to reform D.C. public schools. After tonight’s report, John talks to Gwen Ifill about where the reform push stands now.

All this and Hari Sreenivasan will recap the day’s other news headlines from our newsroom. Hari will also tell you about some of the features on our Web site this holiday weekend, including a special conversation with John Merrow on the Rundown and a round-up of the NewsHour’s coverage of the health reform debate.